Job: Research Fellow – COPIM | Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University

Research Fellow (COPIM), 0.5 FTE (Fixed Term 01-08-2022 until 31-04-2023)

Coventry University is seeking to appoint a Research Fellow within the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Humanities to support the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project.

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC), builds on the strong and distinctive track-record of scholars at Coventry University encompassing a range of disciplines in the arts and humanities. Led by Professor Gary Hall, the CPC explores how innovations in postdigital cultures can enable 21st century society to respond to the challenges it faces in relation to the digital at a global, national and local level.

COPIM is a strategic international partnership led by the Centre for Postdigital Cultures consisting of world-class universities, presses, libraries and infrastructure providers. The project addresses the key technological, structural, and organisational hurdles—around funding, production, dissemination, discovery, reuse, and archiving—that are standing in the way of the wider adoption and impact of open access (OA) books. COPIM will realign OA book publishing away from competing commercial service providers to a more horizontal and cooperative knowledge-sharing approach.

A Research Fellow is required to support the project’s PIs in conducting research on (best practices for) the governance of academic presses and collectively managed infrastructures. We are looking for an Open Access specialist with expert knowledge of academic book publishing processes and current developments in digital publishing. The Research Fellow will conduct research on best practices for governing collaborative community-based book publishing projects of various scales. They will also assist in the creation of a model for the long-term management of consortial library funding programs, including official policies and procedures for self-governance and administrative management of the infrastructure. In addition to that they will assist in the organisation of workshops and events to promote the project’s research and outputs.

Library perspective: balancing investments and sustainability in Open Access

“The team at COPIM recently shared your CommonPlace blog post “Balancing Investments in Open Access: Sustainability and Innovation”. We found it really interesting to see evidence of libraries grappling with how to evaluate the proliferation of new OA models. What has the response been to your article?

One response was that Sharla Lair and Curtis Brundy edited a series of articles in CommonPlace, called “The Global Transition to Open.” It was gratifying to see that other libraries are also struggling with some of the issues I mentioned in my piece–how to keep up with all of the new open publishing models, and how to choose which initiatives to support. One potential way to combat this, as Marco Tullney and others noted, is to develop established workflows and evaluation criteria. I thought Alexia Hudson-Ward made a particularly compelling case that DEIA should be a core component of any such criteria. 

I’m also intrigued by the fact that some libraries seem to have dedicated, separate budget lines for supporting open scholarly initiatives. At the same time, I’m not convinced that having a dedicated budget line would really make the decision making process and administrative issues easier for us at Temple, as Demmy Verkebe says it does at KU Leuven. And honestly, I worry that separating open from the rest of collections might prevent us from seeing the big picture around how exactly this transition should happen. …”

Opening the Future: A New Model for Funding Open Access Monographs: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  We outline the work of two university presses, with assistance from the Community-led Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) Project, in creating an innovative revenue model to fund Open Access (OA) monographs at a traditional publisher. Building on library journal subscription models and on Knowledge Unlatched’s approach to monograph funding, this OA publishing model (called “Opening the Future”) gives members special access to a backlist, with the revenue then used to make the frontlist openly accessible. We also examine the general landscape of OA and funding models and discuss some of the challenges and benefits.

 

#RLUK22: Making Open Access Books Work Fairly: establishing collaboration between libraries, publishers, and infrastructure providers | Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Outline: Open Access (OA) book publishing, and the way it is funded, is changing. 2020 and 2021 saw the emergence of several new OA monograph initiatives based on collective library funding. Cambridge UP started Flip It Open, MIT Press launched Direct 2 Open and Liverpool UP and the Central European University Press launched Opening the Future. This session will give attendees a better understanding of the associated challenges facing libraries, publishers and scholars and will position these in the context of recent policy developments (UKRI OA monograph policy, the next REF, Plan S) and the rapidly developing OA landscape.  

Run by the non-profit, international COPIM Project, presentations and informal breakouts will give participants an understanding of a number of emerging OA book funding models and infrastructures that support smaller presses, based not on Book Processing Charges (BPCs) but on collective library funding. We’ll talk about how libraries might evaluate which OA book programmes align best with their institution and deliver the most relevant benefits. And we’ll discuss the importance of collaborative approaches for publishers and libraries, with a particular focus on the COPIM Project’s different types of collaboration, including Open Book Collective and Opening the Future: two OA monograph partnerships between libraries, publishers, and infrastructure providers.

 

Announcing CEU Press’s Fifth OA Book

Central European University (CEU) Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new book this week: Everyday Life under Communism and After: Consumption and Lifestyle in Hungary, 1945–2000 by Tibor Valuch. It is a fascinating look at how common people lived in Hungary during, and after, tumultuous regime changes.

 

#RLUK22: Making Open Access Books Work Fairly: establishing collaboration between libraries, publishers, and infrastructure providers | Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Open Access (OA) book publishing, and the way it is funded, is changing. 2020 and 2021 saw the emergence of several new OA monograph initiatives based on collective library funding. Cambridge UP started Flip It Open, MIT Press launched Direct 2 Open and Liverpool UP and the Central European University Press launched Opening the Future. This session will give attendees a better understanding of the associated challenges facing libraries, publishers and scholars and will position these in the context of recent policy developments (UKRI OA monograph policy, the next REF, Plan S) and the rapidly developing OA landscape.  

Run by the non-profit, international COPIM Project, presentations and informal breakouts will give participants an understanding of a number of emerging OA book funding models and infrastructures that support smaller presses, based not on Book Processing Charges (BPCs) but on collective library funding. We’ll talk about how libraries might evaluate which OA book programmes align best with their institution and deliver the most relevant benefits. And we’ll discuss the importance of collaborative approaches for publishers and libraries, with a particular focus on the COPIM Project’s different types of collaboration, including Open Book Collective and Opening the Future: two OA monograph partnerships between libraries, publishers, and infrastructure providers.

 

RLUK22 Conference Video: Making Open Access Books Work Fairly

Open Access (OA) book publishing, and the way it is funded, is changing. 2020 and 2021 saw the emergence of several new OA monograph initiatives based on collective library funding. Cambridge UP started Flip It Open, MIT Press launched Direct 2 Open and Liverpool UP and the Central European University Press launched Opening the Future. This session will give a better understanding of the associated challenges facing libraries, publishers and scholars and will position these in the context of recent policy developments (UKRI OA monograph policy, the next REF, Plan S) and the rapidly developing OA landscape.

Open Access Books-Making it Work | Liverpool John Moores University community on YouTube

This roundtable discussion, chaired by Tom Mosterd, one of the three coordinators at the Open Access Books Network (OABN) and Community Manager at the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), will highlight three different experiences of how to make Open Access book publishing work in an equitable and sustainable way:

Charles Watkinson (Associate University Librarian for Publishing and Director of University of Michigan Press) will share his experience from a more ‘traditional’ university publisher that is now developing a consortial library publishing programme, called Fund to Mission, to significantly step up their OA book publishing and to move away from a Book Processing Charge (BPC) model as they do so.

Demmy Verbeke (Head of Artes, KU Leuven Libraries and associate professor of Open Scholarship at the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven) will discuss how KU Leuven Libraries have developed a fund called Fair OA Fund, which has been designed to make sure there is institutional money available to support innovative and non-profit OA initiatives, including books, journals, and infrastructure, alongside APCs/BPCs and TAs.

Lucy Barnes (COPIM and Open Book Publishers) will talk about building community-owned and governed infrastructure to support and expand the publication of OA books, and the importance of international partnerships in funding, sharing and publishing OA.

Fourth OA Book Funded by Opening the Future

We’re pleased to announce that our project partner Central European University (CEU) Press has released another book, fully funded as open access through our Opening the Future project, thanks to library support. Published last week it is now available for free download and also available to buy in print.

Memory Crash: Politics of History In and Around Ukraine, 1980s-2010s by Georgiy Kasianov is a timely reminder that issues of the past worry people no less than issues of the present – with controversies around how a country’s history is interpreted often turning both public and state realms into battlefields of memory. This book is an account of the historical politics in Ukraine embedded within the broader European context, with lessons for countries beyond.

 

Open Access Monographs: Myths, Truths and Implications in the Wake of UKRI Open Access Policy | LIBER Quarterly

The UK Research and Innovation funding council announced its latest Open Access Policy on August 6, 2021. This policy applies to all UKRI funded research, and thus constitutes a significant move towards OA as an academic standard. For the first time in the UK, OA is to be mandated for academic books – this means that both monographs and edited chaptered books must be published Open Access from January 2024, though a 1 year embargo is permissible. As the infrastructures, business models and workflows supporting OA book publishing are currently lagging behind journals, especially in the Arts and Humanities, many researchers and institutions have responded to the policy with some consternation, even whilst supporting the aims and ethics of OA publishing.

This article explores some of these apprehensions and questions raised by institutions, academics and by librarians regarding OA book publishing in a UK context, especially regarding funding and sustainability. It aims to dispel certain myths around OA book publishing in general, particularly the notion that Book Processing Charges are a necessary or even desirable element. The article then presents some of the varied models and systems currently in use and development, particularly the work of the UKRI/Research England funded COPIM project (Community- Led Open Access Infrastructures for Monographs), one of the aims of which is to build ways of delivering more sustainable revenue sources to OA publishers. It focuses in particular a key and soon to be launched output of the project: the Open Book Collective.

Spineless Wonders: The Global Book roundtable | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

During the Spineless Wonders Conference on 12 November 2021, Patrick Hart and Rebekka Kiesewetter discussed the ways in which scholarly OA output — and modes of engagement with it outside the Anglo-American global North — articulate with questions of the global, globalisation, and globality.

This is a transcript of our initial contribution to the roundtable, which was chaired by Dr Heather H. Yeung (University of Dundee) and Prof. Tim Brennan (Manchester School of Art). The other contributors were Prof. Tom Mole (Durham University) and Prof. Ashleigh Harris (Uppsala University).